Welcome to the webpage of Martin Johnes, Professor of Modern History at Swansea University.

I specialise in the histories of modern Wales and British popular culture. I’ve published various books and articles that look at Welsh identity, politics, popular sports, obscure sports, national identity, disasters and local government. At the heart of my research are questions of identity. I am interested in how people think of who they are and their place in their world.

 Many of these articles can be downloaded from my profile.   A full list of my academic publications can be found here.

I am regular contributor to the media on issues of Welsh history, politics and identity. Links to and a list of my journalism and presenting can be found here.

Blog entries can be searched via the tags on the right. Recent posts are below.

Stories of a Post-industrial Hero: The Death of Johnny Owen

First published as: Martin Johnes (2011) Stories of a Post-industrial Hero: The Death of Johnny Owen, Sport in History, 31:4, 444-463, DOI: 10.1080/17460263.2011.646832 Boxing has a history of attracting the interest of intellectuals and serious writers. The likes of Norman Mailer and Ernest Hemingway have been fascinated not just by boxing’s brutality but also by its symbolic power. It is easy to … Continue reading “Stories of a Post-industrial Hero: The Death of Johnny Owen”


Download the programme and abstracts New Directions in Welsh History: An Online ‘Zoom’ Conference Saturday 24 October 2020 We would like to host a conference that allows historians to present the latest academic research on the history of Wales.  We encourage people to present both polished arguments and ideas in progress. Papers that reflect on … Continue reading “#hanescymru2020”

The Curriculum for Wales, Welsh History and Citizenship, and the Threat of Embedding Inequality

Welsh education is heading towards its biggest shake up for two generations. The new Curriculum for Wales is intended to place responsibility for what pupils are taught with their teachers. It does not specify any required content but instead sets out ‘the essence of learning’ that should underpin the topics taught and learning activities employed. … Continue reading “The Curriculum for Wales, Welsh History and Citizenship, and the Threat of Embedding Inequality”